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Owner Builders

 What is an Owner Builder?  = SAVINGS

An Owner Builder is one who either performs, and/or coordinates sub contractors to complete building work on their own property. Homefab has been supplying to Owner Builders for many years, and over the years our clients have given us feedback to help us continually develop our products.

About Owner Building

If you’re thinking about doing some building work on your own property and you want to do it yourself, you may need an owner builder permit.

When you complete the Owner Builder Course, through a Recognised Training Organisation you will be issued with a permit for work under an Owner Builders Permit, which allows you to take on the role of head contractor on a building project. You’ll be responsible for engaging and co-ordinating your contractors, as well as the scheduling of work.

Work you can do as an owner builder

  • build a new home
  • renovate, alter or extend an existing home
  • renovate or alter an existing single duplex or unit, but only where it does not affect the fire protection system or structure of the building
  • build a garage, carport or residential shed
  • build a swimming pool for residential use
  • build a pergola or entertainment area for residential use.

Work you can’t do as an owner builder

  • build commercial or industrial buildings (e.g. shops, industrial sheds, farm buildings)

  • build or renovate multiple dwellings (e.g. duplexes, boarding houses, block of units).

Note: There are special provisions for farm buildings. If the value is no more than $27,500, an owner can personally do that work. 

Owner building your own house is very rewarding and satisfying, and will save you money.

What are the disadvantages?

There are restrictions on the number of projects you can do as an owner builder. We can only issue one permit to you every six years.

In addition, some of the services that are naturally available to homeowners who engage a licensed builder are not accessible to owner builders. This includes the use of our dispute resolution services if there is a problem, and access to the Home Warranty insurance scheme.

QBCC is unable to help you resolve disputes

If there are contractual issues or problems with the work, you can’t access our early dispute resolution system, nor can we provide assistance to help with rectification of defective work.

No access to Home Warranty insurance

The Home Warranty insurance, which protects owners against incomplete or defective work, is not available to owner builders.

Even if the contractor paid an insurance premium to QBCC in error, the work is still uninsurable.

Applying for an owner builder permit

Complete the Owner Builder Permit Application Form (PDF)  and include:

  • an original or certified copy of a current title search or Registration Confirmation       Statement (no more than 30 days old) from the Titles Office
  • proof of a completed owner builder course, or exemption approval
  • proof of identity
  • the application fee (if your application is rejected, we’ll refund 50% of the fee).

How do I calculate the value of the work?

You must include:

  • the cost of the materials (the value can’t be reduced if they’re discounted or recycled)
  • the labour (the amount a licensed contractor would charge you for the work).

The value of labour can’t be reduced if it’s provided free of charge.

Owner builder application processing time

It usually takes up to 4 weeks to process an application.

Applying for another owner builder permit

You can only have one owner builder permit every 6 years. However, we may issue a new permit in exceptional circumstances (such as sickness or severe financial difficulty). Complete the Application for Exemption from the Six-year Ruling (PDF).

Owner builder course and providers

Before applying for an owner builder permit (PDF), you must complete an owner builder course. To be eligible, you need to be a person listed on the title, a company director (if the property is company-owned) or a leasee (if the property is leased).

In some cases, you may be entitled to apply for an exemption from the owner builder course (PDF). You should apply for the exemption before applying for your owner builder permit.

Course providers

Owner Builder Course Providers (PDF) are approved Registered Training Organisations that offer the owner builder course (see below).

The course delivery (classroom format or by correspondence) and course costs vary depending on the course provider. The owner builder permit application fee doesn’t include course costs.

The Owner Builder Study Guide (PDF) is a valuable resource for owner builders.

For more information on Owner Building please visit the QBCC Website - Owner Building

     Owner Builder 1

Owner Building with Homefab

Homefab strives to help Owner Builders by making the on-site stage of the building process as simple as possible, by value-adding. All our building components are made of steel, are pre-fabricated, and come with a detailed construction manual, so on site, the components can be put together like a puzzle with instructions on how to do it!

We have standard house designs available, but we specialise in custom designed homes. Please fax, post or email your design to our office for a quote.

Easy Transportation

Homefab’s prefabricated house components can be easily transported to your site with no road escort requirements. Loading and packaging techniques adopted by Homefab eliminate the risk of damage which may occur on unsealed roads within our market area. Homefab’s building components are flat packed, which makes the kit easier to transport.

Easy Construction

Homefab’s quality control system ensures that all components arrive on site at the same time, and are clearly labelled for identification. We also offer an option to receive the building component in stages as required to decrease the chance of goods being stolen. All Homefab’s steel building components are colour or number coded for ease of construction on site. This coding is matched with our detailed house construction manual, which is posted prior to delivery of your kit.

Because Homefab’s steel building components are prefabricated, colour coded and numbered considerable savings in site construction time is achieved. The pre fabrication process, comprehensive site instruction manual, detailed on site instruction plans, delivery check list form an integral part of the kit to cater for users with minimal formal training.

Value adding within the steel frames such as the inclusion of pre pre-punched holes for the truss tie down, bottom plate to sub floor tie down, plunge bath or shower recess noggins, pre-bracing of both internal and external walls, pre punched studs for ease of plumbing and electrical cables and pipes installation and Homefab’s design registered truss brackets all contribute to on site savings. Before and during the on site process Homefab will carry out any number of site visits to supervise and provide assistance in training where necessary or as required by the client.

Owner Builder 2

The Homefab system is easy to use, and requires no formal training, which is why owner builders use Homefab. The Owner Builder process with Homefab is clear, simple and easy...

  • You complete the Building Services Authority approved course
  • Select or design a plan for your new home/renovation/extension
  • Fax, e-mail or post it to Homefab, or come in to our Mareeba office
  • Homefab will contact you to get the full details of your request
  • Homefab will furnish you with a free estimate on your design and contact you to let you know the estimated cost
  • You approve the right price and the right design
  • Homefab manufactures the kit and packs all the items included in your estimate 
  • Homefab organises delivery to your job site
  • Homefab offers a 24hour advice and help phone number
  • Any after sales service is also taken care of by Homefab
  • Homefab lends owner builders tools such as nail guns, screw guns, scaffolding, bearer stands, etc at no extra expense.


Durable Products

Homefab’s use of steel as the preferred structural component in all domestic and commercial buildings allows for a wide range of floor and or deck sheeting, internal wall lining, external wall cladding and roof sheet products.

Again utilising products that have maintenance free properties is an essential part of the overall design technique. Clients have the choice of using plastic composite decking timber in lieu of general hardwood that are available. There is a choice of Scyon Flooring (compressed Fibre Cement) in lieu of plywood for living and wet areas. Please view the Scyon Flooring Video below.

Internal wall lining recommendations include the use of Villaboard in all wet areas, Gyprock where building damage from residents is minimal and or the use of Craft Wood or Ply lining for areas with a high maintenance factor must be adopted.

External products specified include the use of Colorbond Claddings, James Hardie Products integrated with the use of Aircell insulation form part of Homefab’s recommended product list.

Roof cladding such as Colorbond integrated with insulation is our preferred roofing product in remote areas due to the products durability and ability to flat pack throughout the transit process.

So Homefab really is here to help owner builders. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on how to improve our services, please contact our office.

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